That Girl Pearl
Pearl is one of their four rescue dogs. She was very lucky to find her way into not only their home, but their hearts.
Unfortunately, finding her furever home was not the end of her battle. Here is Pearl's story...
Pearl, their little bully girl, has had many obstacles to overcome in her life. Before joining their family, she was not well cared for, and her health suffered horribly. By the age of one, Pearl had a whole litter of puppies pass away in utero. Abandoned at a rural veterinarian, Pearl’s tiny body was almost completely septic. The kind doctors and nurses saw Pearly’s fighting spirit and sweet nature, and fought tirelessly toward recovery. Though the odds were stacked against her, Pearl survived.
Proudly displaying a body-long scar, Pearl slowly began to recover. She not only had battle medical issues, but Pearl was also very depressed over the loss of her babies. The staff knew something had to be done to ease the poor girl’s spirits. Miraculously, the answer presented itself soon thereafter. Another tragedy at the vet had left a new litter of puppies without a mother. Pearl’s maternal instincts kicked right in. She nursed the litter to health; nursing and healing her spirit in the process.
Pearl went to Jim and Jen as a foster from LoveMuttsRescue in Raleigh, NC about a month following her surgery. She was recovering from her surgery incisions, but also suffered from stress related mange which made most of her fur fall out. The bald, pink, Pearly had to be carried up and down stairs, and was cautious, but desperate for love. As time went on, Pearly became the crazy, loud, and treat-obsessed baby that made them proud to be called “foster failures!”
About a year later, they noticed that Pearl was beginning to lose significant amounts of weight. This observation marked the beginning of an endless quest for answers. While their girl battled through various health issues, they sought out second, third, and fourth opinions. Each veterinarian gave a different diagnosis, prognosis, diets and medications. Some of the medications worked for a while, but shortly after, the negative symptoms would return. This went on for about 8 months. Pearl was now down from her typical weight of around 45 lbs, to 28 lbs. She had very little energy, but kept her sweet nature. Her tail kept wagging through it all.
Jim and Jen decided to stop looking to local vets, and in the beginning of this month (April 2016), had Pearl admitted to the NC State Veterinary Hospital in the ICU. They were blown away by the dedication, attention, and love the staff at NC State gave their family. They immediately began testing, and were soon able to correctly diagnose Pearl’s condition as Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI). Pearl also had hookworms, anemia, an eye infection, and associated ailments. The fact that her diagnosis was TREATABLE was the greatest news Jim and Jen had received regarding Pearl's condition.
Pearl stayed in the ICU for six days. Jen and Jim went to the visiting hours around the clock. Their admiration for the staff at NC State is incomparable. They felt so lucky to be able to place their baby in the hands of people they think of as our heroes. On 4/10/16, they were able to bring Pearl on her “freedom ride” home. Her fellow four legged brothers and sister were thrilled to have their family back together again.
Pearl and Lily...
Little Peter, Big Peter and Pearl...
After just five short days at home, Pearl developed a bad bacterial infection, and is back in the ICU at NC State. She knows they will take great care of her there, but that this will be an uphill battle. She is ready to fight, and to get back home in her sunny spot as soon as possible.
In Pearl news, she is doing absolutely fantastic and weighed in at 36.4 lbs yesterday. she had her one month checkup at NC State the other day and they were blown away by her progress. We still have challenges ahead though, with her improved health, the doctors think Pearl's immune system is able to react to things it previously couldn't, and she has developed some skin issues that are concerning in the past few weeks. We are on top of it, and compared to what she has overcome before, Pearl's not too concerned.
Thanks got all the support, we love you guys!
The transformation of Pearl's body in just over two short weeks is truly amazing! She is gaining weight even faster than we thought she would, as her body is now getting all of the nutrients that were depleted for so long! We also now have her medicine schedule almost down to a science. Yes, we look like mad scientists mixing and pouring and injecting- but nothing is more worth it!
This weekend, we brought Pearly and her brother, Peter, to the park for our family's Mother’s Day BBQ. Peter walked the whole way, but Pearl hung out in her stroller for most of the walk. She just loves feeling the breeze on her face, watching the squirrels, and being pampered!! You can imagine the looks we get when people walking by glance over to see our "baby" and see a pretty little bulldog in there hahaha :)
Looking over at her laying in the sun on Mother’s Day...all I kept thinking was how much of a miracle her recovery has been. The countless hours sitting outside of her crate in the ICU, the sleepless nights of worry, the financial aspects- there is not a bit of it that we wouldn’t do over just to see our bully girl so happy again. And THAT is why we are sending our warmest wishes and most heartfelt "thank you" to all of you out there who have contributed (emotionally, financially, etc) to her recovery. As I always try to look on the bright side- I can now begin to reflect on the wonderful people and new friends that we have met along this journey. One of my favorite quotes is, “Begin each day with a grateful heart.” THANK YOU for being those people who fill my heart with gratitude.
Pearly is also up to 30 lbs!! This is a MAJOR
improvement from the 23 lbs she weighed when she first entered the ICU! Though she still has about 20 lbs to go to be at a healthy weight- we are so happy about the progress being made!
Some of you may have heard or seen Pearl's TELEVISION DEBUT on our local Raleigh station. A couple of my beautiful, sweet, second graders decided to do a lemonade and bakesale to benefit Pearl's recovery! You can watch the news clip by clicking below:
Pearl and the kids were also featured in a beautiful article written for the News & Observer! Click the link below to read:
We will keep updating you on our little fighter's progress! Thanks for checking in! :)
You can also follow Pearl on Instagram @that_girl_pearl
I am forwarding this to my facebook page. I know most of my friends are dog lover and pittie lovers. If you have five, ten bucks to forward to this amazing fighter baby. What a road she has survived so far. If you can help, please help. Her Mom and Dad put their financial life in jeopardy to save her and if we all chip in, it won't hurt them as badly as it would have!
Thank you so much, everyone! We are so blessed to have NC State taking care of our precious girl. Each day, we are amazed by the staff and students' commitment to Pearl's health, happiness, and rehabilitation. Your help ensures that she can continue to receive this world renowned care. We love you all!
Please join us at www.Epi4Dogs.com to help continue to bring awareness to this condition! Congratulations on getting on Ellen. We have members that have been writing her for years trying to get more awareness for EPI.
Pearl has an 'old' friend back at home...the family fostered Levi (Quan) who went into foster to adopt..but Levi ran off & has been reunited w/ Jen & Jim & the whole family..everyone is happy to be together....we are still hoping for a new home for Levi ! (thru Love Mutts Rescue)
Shared your fundraiser to my missing pets group and page on fb.. keeping her in my prayers she recovers 100%
Please post a PayPal acct for those of us who only use that for donations. Thanks. And best wishes to Pearl and her family.